Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

Category: Book
By (author): Pitzer, Andrea
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers
  HISTORY / Expeditions & Discoveries
  HISTORY / Polar Regions
  NON-FICTION / General
Publisher: Scribner
Published: January 2021
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 0.90in
Our Price:
$ 39.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*In the bestselling tradition of Hampton Sides's In the Kingdom of Ice, a riveting and cinematic tale of Dutch polar explorer William Barents and his three harrowing Arctic expeditions-the last of which resulted in a relentlessly challenging year-long fight for survival.

The human story has always been one of perseverance-often against remarkable odds. The most astonishing survival tale of all might be that of 16th-century Dutch explorer William Barents and his crew of sixteen, who ventured farther north than any Europeans before and, on their third polar exploration, lost their ship off the frozen coast of Nova Zembla to unforgiving ice. The men would spend the next year fighting off ravenous polar bears, gnawing hunger, and endless winter.

In Icebound, Andrea Pitzer masterfully combines a gripping tale of survival with a sweeping history of the great Age of Exploration-a time of hope, adventure, and seemingly unlimited geographic frontiers. At the story's center is William Barents, one of the 16th century's greatest navigators whose larger-than-life ambitions and obsessive quest to chart a path through the deepest, most remote regions of the Arctic ended in both tragedy and glory. Journalist Pitzer did extensive research, learning how to use four-hundred-year-old navigation equipment, setting out on three Arctic expeditions to retrace Barents's steps, and visiting replicas of Barents's ship and cabin.

"A visceral, thrilling account full of tantalizing surprises" (Andrea Barrett, author of The Voyage of the Narwhal ), Pitzer's reenactment of Barents's ill-fated journey shows us how the human body can function at twenty degrees below, the history of mutiny, the art of celestial navigation, and the intricacies of building shelters. But above all, it gives us a first-hand glimpse into the true nature of human courage.
Review Quote*"A gripping adventure tale that deserves an honored place in the long bookshelf of volumes dealing with arctic shipwrecks, winter ordeals, and survival struggles."
-Boston Globe
Review Quote*"A resonant meditation on human ingenuity, resilience, and hope."
-The New Yorker
Review Quote*"A fascinating modern telling of Barents's expeditions….Ms. Pitzer presents a compelling narrative situated in the context of Dutch imperial ambition. She writes vividly about the ‘unnerving isolation' of venturing north and east of Scandinavia into uncharted waters."
-Wall Street Journal
Review Quote*"The expedition's highlight reel included everything a polar fan could want: hand-to-hand combat with polar bears and walruses; scurvy and vitamin A poisoning; asphyxiation by carbon dioxide; frostbite, keelhauling and hangings; plus the sighting of a rare atmospheric optical phenomenon called a parhelion…Pitzer writes with care about the Arctic landscape Barents encountered…A reminder that there was once a time when things were unknown."
-New York Times Book Review
Review Quote*"The name of William Barents isn't that familiar to us these days beyond perhaps a line of type on your atlas… but this enthralling, elemental and literally spine-chilling epic of courage and endurance should change all that." 
-Daily Mail (UK)
Review Quote*"Dramatic and dire…[the men]fight off polar bears that rear up from nowhere, attacking until they are slaughtered or driven away. The ship tacks endlessly and desperately to escape floating ‘mountains of steel'…Ms. Pitzer's descriptions of the region sing." 
-The Economist
Review Quote*"Narratives of frozen beards in polar hinterlands never lose their appeal. Most of the good stories have been told, but in Icebound Andrea Pitzer fills a gap, at least for the popular reader in English, with the story of the 16th-century Dutch mariner William Barents….Elegant." 
-The Spectator
Review Quote*"Richly descriptive…The real grip of the book lies in the horrendous dangers and hardships endured by Barents and his shipmates, and the determination with which they met them... For these explorers, it was as if they had visited another planet, a hostile place of alien creatures and otherworldly horrors." 
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
Review Quote*"Andrea Pitzer does a fine job of telling this gripping adventure, painting a convincing portrait of an obsessive who put his life on the line for glory and knowledge-and succumbed." 
-The Observer (UK)